The official list of the Big 12's top 25 players is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing the list day by day here on the blog. Here's a refresher on my exact criteria.
We're inside the top 10 now, so things should heat up a little bit. Have a gripe with the list? Let me know in the mailbag.
No. 8: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
2010 numbers: Solder was the rock on an offensive line that paved the way for 1,642 rushing yards. Colorado's offensive line also gave up just 21 sacks on the year, tied for 4th in the Big 12.
Most recent ranking: Solder was ranked No. 6 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Solder: Don't worry about the total numbers for the Buffaloes, whose running game ranked 11th in the Big 12 last year. Solder got it done once again. And, for what it's worth, the Buffaloes' featured runner, Rodney Stewart, rushed for 1,316 yards. That's good for third in the Big 12 and suggest a deficiency of runners more than the offensive line.
It's especially encouraging for the Buffaloes who gave up 43 sacks a year ago and just 21 this year. The offensive line stayed healthy, and when Colorado ran the ball well, it won. That was the case in wins over Georgia and Colorado, and Stewart had big days against Iowa State and Kansas State in the team's only two conference wins of the year.
The rest of the list:
No. 9: Sam Acho, DL, Texas
No. 11: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
No. 12: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
No. 13: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
No. 14: Levy Adcock, RT, Oklahoma State
No. 15: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
No. 16: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
No. 17: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
No. 18: Eric Hagg, DB, Nebraska
No. 19: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
No. 20: Orie Lemon, LB, Oklahoma State
No. 21: Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska
No. 22: Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
No. 23: Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
No. 24: Tim Barnes, C, Missouri
No. 25: Lyle Leong, WR, Texas Tech